While an antique bed might be on your wish list, an antique mattress should certainly not be. It's recommended that you replace your mattress every seven years and an antique style definitely exceeds this. Using a mattress for too long can lead to more than just a restless nights sleep. It can also cause joint stiffness and uncomfortable back pain. When shopping for antique beds, it's important to choose a modern mattress to go alongside it. We've answered the top questions when it comes to choosing a mattress for your antique bed. From what size to choose, to the correct base to support it. Find out everything you need to know in our antique beds buying guide.
Mattress sizes for antique beds:
Antique beds tend to be 3/4 of the width of a modern day bed. The length is generally the same but you can come across some antique styles that are shorter too. It's important to measure the exact dimensions of your bed before ordering a mattress. On some occasions, a small double (4" x 6'3") or a small single (2'6" x 6'3") can fit perfectly.
So what can you do? Firstly, measure up and see if any standard mattress sizes will fit. If they don't, there's a couple of alternative options. You can either order a made-to-measure custom mattress. Or, you can have a carpenter extend the width of the bed. If you would prefer to have the same amount of room as you would in a standard bed. Getting the antique bed extended is the best option. Both of these can be quite expensive so before purchasing an antique, be sure to weigh up the hidden costs. If the antique look is what you're after but you'd prefer to save on costs. Then there are plenty of modern bed frames designed to look like antiques.
What base should I choose for an antique bed frame?
In most cases, the price you see for antique beds just includes the frame, head and foot boards. This means you'll need to set aside some extra budget for a bed base and mattress. Usually, getting a bed base fitted is quite straightforward and can be done by the seller. The style you choose will depend on what mattress you would like and your comfort preferences.
Slats or solid base?
Both of these base styles have their advantages. Slatted bases are usually cheaper to install and make the bed lighter to move. A solid base provides a totally flat surface for the mattress to sit on which gives more even support all over. You can also opt for a more modern style of base, including a sprung edge design. This style gives the same even support as a solid base but has a spongier feel. It's usually preferred by those that dislike a firm feeling bed and tends to be used in divan styles.
Do I need a custom mattress an antique bed?
Some particularly old styles of antique beds are made in awkward sizes. This makes them much harder to match with a modern-day mattress. Custom mattresses can be beneficial if you are happy with the size of the bed and would prefer to keep the frame from being modified. Having a custom mattress also means that you have more flexibility with comfort. You can choose exactly what materials you would like and the desired firmness. So while a custom style is pricey, it can be worthwhile.
What mattress firmness for antique beds?
If the bed is installed with a solid base, you may prefer to opt for a slightly softer mattress than usual. The firm support for the base can make a mattress feel firmer than it would on a slatted or sprung edge design. Similarly, if you're used to using a solid base; switching to a slatted frame can make the mattress feel softer. You should always choose your mattress firmness based on your body weight and comfort preferences. Here's a general guideline to follow when deciding on your perfect firmness:
- Soft tension: A soft mattress is usually best suited for those weighing nine stone and under. It can also be a comfortable option for people that like to sleep on their sides
- Medium tension: Medium tensions are most comfortable for those weighing between nine and sixteen stone. Medium firmness tends to be the most popular choice for couples of different weights
- Medium-firm tension: If you're at the top end of the medium tension weight scale and prefer a firmer feel, medium-firm is a great option
- Firm tension: Firm tensions tend to be most comfortable for those weighing sixteen stone and over
- Extra-firm tension: Extra firm is typically best suited for those needing extra support for back pain. Most orthopaedic mattresses fall into this category